Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Blagojevich calls for assault weapons ban

Ol' Blaggie is up to typical Democratic tricks. He's calling for an assualt weapons ban which forbids the sale and possession of "military-style" weapons. Jeff at Alphecca can give you the lowdown on "assault weapons" nonsense. If he doesn't get his ban, then he'll veto lowering the age of getting a FOID without parental consent. Uhm, Gov? When you're 18, YOU ARE LEGALLY AN ADULT. You can vote, serve in the military, buy porn, be tried in a court of law as an adult for any crimes, and do all sorts of things except buy alcohol and apparently defend youself with a firearm. So, Governor Blagojevich, are people who are old enough to join the military adults or not? An 18-year old should not need his parent's consent to do ANYTHING. Why? Said 18-year old is AN ADULT. Unless Governor Blagojevich and Representatives James Meeks and Don Harmon want to try to make a law changing the legal adult age to something else, what they're doing is wrong. Adults should be allowed to do adult things.

This bill will NOT increase violence. It may, however, bring in lots more state revenue in the form of FOID fees, and will also allow new adults to defend their home with long guns. It will also help to track those FOID carriers who commit gun crimes, too.

Basically what Ol' Blaggie is saying is that adults who are age 18-20 are only adult when voting Democrat. I hope there's enough Legislative support to override any of his potential vetoes. When I'd heard on the radio today that Blagojevich was going to sign this into law despite the outcry from the Mayor and Butthead-in-Chief of Chicago, Richard Daley, I figured that maybe spending some time in Springfield might have tempered Governor Blagojevich's faulty Chicago-esque thought patterns. No, it turns out that he's still a moron.

Mayor Daley also needs to get back to mismanaging the City of Chicago and keep his frickin' hands off the rest of the state.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Tarazet

Do you like companion animals? Have a pet or twelve? If so, head over to Tarazet. Jeff from the Alphecca blog has put together a great blog that allows us to share some life stories about our pets. It rocks.

Friday, March 26, 2004

SJ-R.COM - Lawmakers approve firearm bills

Man, ask and I shall receive. The State-Journal Register scoops up a hat trick of firearms bills and plunks it all into one article.

First, they note the passage of HB 4075, which I discussed below. The amusing thing is Rep. Don Harmon of Oak Park who thinks that the bill will allow felons to not be prosecuted for weapons charges if they use them in self-defense. No, Representative Harmon, you're wrong. HB 4075 does not change existing weapons possession laws in the Illinois Compiled Statues. It only changes home-rule handgun bans. Representative Harrison is apparently all about the sound and fury that signifies nothing.

Now there are two other bills that have passed into the next levels of legislation as well. Senate Bill 2386 states that someone who breaks into a house has no right to sue for damages resulting in being injured by the homeowner if said homeowner is defending his home. This should prevent incidents like the one in Great Britain where would-be burglars sued and pressed charges against a homeowner who shot them while they were breaking into his house. This goes on to the Senate. Senate Bill 2163 lowers the age for purchasing a FOID without parental notification from 21 to 18. Both houses of the legislature passed it, so it's up to Ol' Blaggie to sign it or veto it once the Senate and House attached their formal seals of approval to it.

Rep. James Meeks says that parents need to still be notified if their child wants to get a FOID card at 18. He seems to imitate Rep. Harmon in stating that this will allow 18-year-olds to buy handguns in Illinois. Again, it only changes the law dealing with ID cards, not the laws with possession of firearms. Looking at the way Rep. Meeks is up in arms about a lack of parental notification, I wonder if Rep. Meeks feels the same way about abortion notification?

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Story? What story?

Checking the three largest papers in the area, I noticed how little fanfare HB 4075 got in its passage to the State Senate. The Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald show nothing on the front page about this home-defense bill that makes a lot of gun bans almost superfluous. The Sun-Times (and its still-ugly website) has a modest headline in the "News" section. What's wrong? Aren't there any leads on people who will make newsworthy statements against this horrid, horrid bill that could allow people to use handguns to defend themselves? (Note: I don't think this bill is horrid at all, but there's got to be someone out there who will scream and throw a political fit over it somewhere.)

Or maybe, just maybe, the papers are afraid that to give it coverage which might mean giving it more attention and lead to more support? After reading Bernard Goldberg's first book, Bias, I've looked relatively askance at editorial processes. Are the reporters waiting for it to pass the Senate, get vetoed by Ol' Blaggie, and then wait to see if the State Legislature can override his veto? Are you guys waiting for some kind of gripping, compelling drama, or are you going to just report the news? This is news, not entertainment.

At least the Sun-Times covered it. I'm kind of mad that the State Journal-Register didn't cover it. It's an issue of state power vs. home rule power vs. the right to defend one's home. Not only that, a paper in the state capitol should be the best source of state government coverage.
SJ-R.COM - Library will cut hours for historical collection

In a way, I'm relieved that the hours are being cut due to a lack of personnel as opposed to a lack of funds.

However, if the Lincoln Library is willing to negotiate with me, I'd be VERY happy to help staff the collection...

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HB4075

Well, it looks like HB4075 has passed its first major obstacle. It was passed by an 86 Yea-25 Nay-5 Present margin. I also see that my local State Representative, Sidney Mathias, voted for the bill. Way to go, Representative Mathias! I'm glad the gun owners of the state could count on you for passing this bill.

Next up, local State Senator Wendell Jones will be looking at the bill. Senator Jones, I hope you find it to your liking.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Shiite cleric: Interim plan could cause Iraq's break-up

I don't think that Sheik Sistani is right about this. Yes, it does require a Sunni, and Shiite and a Kurd to work as co-presidents for the time being. There's this little ideal in Western Civilization that we strive for that states that all men are created equal. No, we're not perfect about it at all. However, I haven't seen anywhere in the Middle East that shows that ethnic and religious factionalism no longer leads to violence. This system at least attempts to rectify that.

I also harbor fears that Sistani would use this as an attempt to force Sunnis and Kurds into accepting a Shiite majority rule by force. The Sunnis and Kurds might respond to that with violence, so it's best to give them a voice in the government and prevent further bloodshed. Eventually, the government may change, and it's not like the Iraqi government will be forced to stay the way it is now. There's such a thing as a constitutional convention that can be used to hash out differences in the constitution, you know.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HB4075

Not much has changed since we last checked in with the Home Defense bill. It's ready for another debate. What I want to know is why my local State representative isn't signed on with this bill. Sidney Mathias, where are you? This is a great bipartisan bill to sponsor! Please sign on as a co-sponsor before it's too late. I did get a response from my State Senator (Wendell Jones) this issue, and while I got the form email in return, at he knows my opinion on the subject. Hopefully it will give him something to support when it's presented before the Senate for a vote.
Alphecca

Jeff gives his thoughts about the death of Sheik Yassin, founder of Hamas. I couldn't have written it better myself. Yes, he does use coarse language, but I've said most of those words before myself.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Chicago Tribune | Thousands gather in Chicago to protest war

Registration probably required, since it's the Trib.

Anyway, this could also easily be published as "10,000 Chicagoans Still Don't Get It." A couple from South Bend even came here because they say they just couldn't sit at home and do nothing, noting that their son was on his second tour in Iraq with the Marines. Protesting the war isn't going to end it any faster, folks. Pulling out of Iraq now is only going to leave others with a mess we've said we'd clean up. No one understands that. No one understands that Iraq is only part of the whole Middle East conflict, same with Afghanistan. What country is lodged right in between those two nations? Y'know, the one that starts with I and ends in -ran? Putting two American-style democracies on Iran's borders will do more to destabilize the theocratic group that runs the country than folks think. I've heard of a few sporadic riots in Iran, and possibly even the torching of a few of the mullahs' homes. The people of Iran are trying to get rid of the dictatorship that's run roughshod over them for the past 25 years. If having two more US-friendly countries in the area is what it takes to do that, then by all means let's build two more stable democracies there. The Kurds in Syria are also taking action action against Syrian Ba'athists. Is this a bad thing? No. It's another fascist government that needs to be removed. But wait, you say, the Syrians were always big buyers of Soviet goods, how could they be fascist? Well, the Ba'ath parties of Syria and Iraq are fascist parties. Even the much-vaunted Communist party that runs China is little more than fascism that likes bright colors.

But, back to the story at hand. This article shows that some people just don't get the entire scope of what is being done in the Middle East.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Chicago Tribune | Home page

Well, looks like my predictions didn't come out too well percentage wise.
My quick report from the 55th Precinct in the Wheeling Township:

The polling place was right in the middle of the apartment complex in the little community center area for the condo owners. They had it in the basement section, so we got to in through the side door next to the artificial pond. I spoke to one of the precinct judges after voting and he said that it had been busier early in the morning and mid-morning. The reason for that is that the precinct has a lot of retirees and they tend to come out early to cast their votes. The precinct is also pretty much the Arlington Club complex and a few other houses, so it's relatively self-contained. Turnout was good, even with the cold weather and the light snow.

As for how we voted, we still used the old punch cards. There were no fancy electronic touchscreen voting apparatuses (thank goodness) in the booth itself and there are clearly detailed instructions in English and Spanish in large print on how to check your ballot for the dreaded "hanging chad." Having checked the card to make sure I hadn't spoiled my ballot, I handed it over to the election judge who ran it through an optical reader to check for overvotes and undervotes, and the ballot went through like it should.

Voiting is easier than it looks, folks. Using the punch cards is about as advanced as it should get. I still have my concerns over adding too much technology to something that needs to be as simple and reliable as possible.
Hey there!

Did you vote yet? Today's the day for primary elections in Illinois, you know.

If you haven't, GO VOTE NOW!!! You have until 7pm Central Time tonight. After that you will have missed your chance to have a say in some of the local and national matters. Republicans! Are you happy with your current elected officials out here in the suburbs? Democrats! Are you really sure you want John Kerry to take your vote for granted in November? Illinoisans! Are you willing to let referenda slide by without your input? This is your city, your county, your state and your nation. You have a chance to make things work better. You make things work better by voting.

I don't care who you vote or which party you choose in the primaries. Go vote for the folks you think will help run our state and nation like it should be run. You have a say in shaping your party, so go and take care of business.
Chicago Tribune | G.I. Seeks Conscientious Objector Status Registration may be required.

Let's see... his mom is a peace activist and yet he joined a military organization. Then he didn't realize that war isn't a bed of roses and that he'd be trained to kill people? I hope that SSG Mejia gets the full penalty of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for desertion. They could also add a missing movement charge as well. SSG Mejia should be happy that this isn't a formally-declared war, otherwise he'd be up for execution. The UCMJ spells that out VERY clearly.

All of these peace activists? It's like the meme that's going around the Web. They're not anti-war, they're just on the other side.
Chicago Tribune | Eric Zorn's Notebook

Dig it.

Eric Zorn has my predictions listed on the Chicago Tribune website.

To all of you tuning in from the Trib, welcome!
Alphecca

Once again, Jeff Soyer has the best roundup of guns & politics news articles in the country. Stop by and say howdy!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

It's Morning In America, But We Still Gotta Wait 'Til Tuesday In Illinois

Well, Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune has emailed a challenge to the Chicago-area bloggers to predict the winners of the Democratic and Republican primaries. In the spirit of March Madness (Go Salukis!) I gladly accept and throw my predictions into the ring!

The winners are determined by carefully averaging polls I don't claim to understand in the slightest and consulting with the first five balls of any random lottery drawing since 1974. Then I guess from there.

First we'll start out with the distinguished oppostion, the Democratic Party.

Your results by percentage:

Barack Obama - 36%
Dan Hynes - 28%
Gery Chico - 16%
Blair Hull - 11%
Maria Pappas - 7%
Joyce Washington - 1%
Nancy Skinner - 1%

I think Obama will win this primary, but it won't be easy due to Hynes' use of the Chicago Dem machine and Chico's pull with Hispanic voters. I shouldn't place Hull so high, but he may get more downstate votes than anyone else.

And now, introducing... YOUR ILLINOIS REPUBLICAN PRIMARY CANDIDATES!!! (Yeah, I always wanted to be the field announcer at Busch Stadium... hey, free baseball games!)

Results by percentage:

Jack Ryan - 36%
Jim Oberweis - 33%
Steve Rauschenberger - 12%
Andy McKenna - 11%
John Borling - 5%
Chirinjeev Kathuria - 3%
Norm Hill - 0%
Jonathan Wright - 0%

The big race is going to be between Oberweis and Ryan, with Rauschenberger and McKenna picking up votes from their strong supporters. Song of the Suburbs-endorsed McKenna will make a decent showing, but it won't be enough to see him through. Ryan and Oberweis will place highly mainly on name recognition through advertising, and Ryan will edge Oberweis out mainly because of Oberweis' appearing to be anti-immigrant. In my perfect primary, I'd like to see the top two finishers be McKenna and Kathuria, respectively. Rauschenberger gets his votes by tapping into the Republican machine, but it won't be enough. Wright and Hill will barely be afterthoughts in the campaign.

So there are my predictions for Tuesday. I urge all my readers to go out and vote their conscience, since this is the primary. Right now, we have the most control over who represents us. Let's exercise it to the best of our abilities.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Four pounds of plastic explosive, blasting caps found in Lake County

Well, that's not good. Four pounds of C-4, blasting caps, flares, and smoke grenades. Sounds like smeone wanted something to blow up reeeeeal good. I'd like to know who that someone is, too. What I don't get is what a cleaning kit for an M-16 was doing there. Cleaning kits and bombs don't usually get left together.

Either we've got a militia-wannabe group forming in Lake County, or someone was panning on doing somethng very bad to a building around here.
Wow. Talk about a slow news day. Nothing is really jumping out at me from the headlines of major papers around the area. The main Chicago papers (including the Daily Herald, of course) the State Journal-Register, and even the St. Louis Post-Dispatch are apparently taking the day off from attention-grabbing headlines.

Maybe the evening updates will be a bit more enticing.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Daily Herald: Mud flies in race

You know, folks, I read articles like what's going on in the US Senate race with John Borling and then I read this article about a primary race between Republicans that features drunken golfers and auto accidents and I begin to wonder what's wrong with Chicago-area Republicans. This kind of stuff is getting thrown around in a primary election. Hello, DuPage and Cook County Republicans? You don't win elections by pulling this kind of garbage on each other in primaries! Set yourselves apart from the pack by showing how you can apply what you know to benefit your constituents. Don't try for cheap smear tactics and character assassination. Playing dirty politics with your fellow party members is what keeps you from winning elections. You can't even present a relatively unified front in primaries, so why should anyone vote for you in the general elections? You guys need to calm down and keep tactics like this for the general elections when you try to convince people to come over from the other party. Otherwise, the Republican party in Cook County and the collar counties is going to be little more than an afterthought. At least the GOP organizations in other counties have figured this out.
Borling fires aide who leaked claims about Ryan

This still smells funny.

John Borling fires his campaign chief because said campaign chief sent out the fax dealing about Jack Ryan's divorce. In the article, Rod McCulloch's statement seems to infer that he was more than happy to get fired if it meant smearing Jack Ryan. This makes me wonder if John Borling was really that angry at McCulloch for releasing that statement. And as you can see in yesterday's article a few posts down, the statement about the messy divorce was attributed to Mr. Borling. Like I said, this still smells funny. It's almost like Rod McCulloch is a willing patsy for John Borling's media ploy. I don't like this one bit. If this is the kind of campaign that Mr. Borling is running, does anyone really want a guy like him to have a seat in the US Senate?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Daily Herald: Levi's slide continues

Here's an idea, free of charge:

Bring back the US plants for Levi's.

Sell your khakis and jeans at a lower price.

If your consultants aren't giving you those two pieces of advice, get some better consultants.
Chicago Tribune | Bush Ads Go Negative; Kerry Strikes Back

Yo, Tribune!

Up yours!

The ads for the President aren't negative. They're only stating the truth. This campaign is driven by national security, and Kerry hasn't done a thing to ensure it other than the occasional "me too." Remember when Don Rumsfeld talked about "draining the swamp?" That doesn't mean just making the place uninhabitable for terrorists and their buddies, but making it a place where disease won't fester again. Case in point, Iraq. Yeah, there's a lot of upheaval right now. Yeah, there's a lot of people dying to make Iraq a safer and saner place. But Mr. Kerry didn't want to spend all that money to make Iraq better, did he? He didn't want to ensure that we have fewer enemies on our horizon, did he? So no, the ads aren't negative. They're affirming what we already know about John Kerry: he's a chump to the left of Ted Kennedy who's oddly enough willing to let a foreign country go to the dogs after we waged war there. Then on top of it, Bush can run on the fact that he did cut taxes. How do I know this? I got a smaller refund this year, which means I paid less into federal coffers last year. How is this a bad thing? Can Mr. Kerry tell me that? The only way that the feds could keep a surplus was to keep taxes higher. Surpluses are not necessarily a good thing to have, since it means the supply of money has been restricted. How is having less money in circulation a good thing?

So, let's see: John Kerry wants to raise taxes and gut national defense if the wind is blowing in a certain direction. He's also unwilling to make hard international decisions without the approval of the UN or at least France. No, dear Tribune staff, those ads aren't negative. They're telling the truth.
Calif. top court blocks gay marriages

See what happens when you go whine to a judge? Somebody puts a stop to your fun. This is why there needs to be laws in state constitutions for either gay marriage or civil unions. The key is legislation, not litigation.

Say it with me, kids:

LEGISLATION, NOT LITIGATION

Go hassle your state representatives, that's what they're there for. Tell them to put gay marriage or civil unions on the books. If you go to a judge, your opponents can find a judge sympathetic to them to overturn what you just did.

Yes, legislation takes a lot longer to enact. It's designed that way so that everyone can argue their points and hash out a compromise. Whining to a judge gets quicker results but results in challenge after challenge. It's like having a cold; sure, you can get rid of the symptoms immdiately and function, but if you don't get some rest and allow time for the cold to go away, it could turn into a nasty respiratory infection. Now, do you want the symptoms with possible infection (send in the lawyers), or do you want to wait out the cold and work at it slowly (send in the politicians)? Neither way is completely fun, but one way is definitely better than the other.
Borling says he knows what's in Ryan's hidden divorce files

John Borling, you have just besmirched the uniform you once wore. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt because you were a general in the Air Force, and I like to support candidates who are veterans, especially when those candidates served in the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. Your first strike against you was being pro-abortion. Now acting like you have some kind of damning evidence against one of your competitors and trying to lord it over them is strikes two and three. This is not a psychological operations campaign, Mr. Borling. This is a campaign for United States Senator. Politics may be a dirty game, but you do not have to play dirty to win. This kind of garbage is the last thing you need to try. Is this some kind of cry for help, Mr. Borling? A bit of last-minute drama-queening? If you've got it, Mr. Borling, show it. Otherwise you're only holding a vapor trail. This kind of campaigning is especially disgusting when it comes from a fellow Republican. Bow out of the race now, John Borling. You've embarrassed yourself by trying to embarrass one of your candidates.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

GeorgeWBush.com :: Statement from Mayor Rudolph Giuliani

Mr. Giuliani's statement is short and sweet and to the point. Do we want a leader who will work to make our country safer or not? The television news barrages about how the 2004 election will be a "referendum" on George W. Bush are really a smokescreen. Lost jobs? Funny, when I was trying to get hired on at various companies in 2000 prior to graduation the only answers I got were "We're trying to cut jobs to save money. Sorry." While I was in college from 1997 to 2000 after I'd gotten out of the Air Force, I saw lots of people losing jobs, lots of reductions in hiring. This tells me that the job market isn't reliant on who sits in the Oval Office. When companies want to lay off workers, they don't wait until a President they dislike is in office, they do it as soon as it's financially expedient. They do their hiring at similar financially expedient times. The only financial jobs that the President really has is signing bills that Congress passes to him and picking the right people for Treasury and Federal Reserve positions. Tax cuts? That's been the best thing so far for families. The only real problem I've had so far is the president's desire to spend more than he takes in, and even Reagan showed that it's possible to keep the nation afloat when spending deficits occur in the government.

So, since the economy is doing better than the folks on tv would have you believe, they throw up the next issue of gay marriage. I'd like to see gay marriage happen, but it's more of a social issue than something in which government should interfere. The Federal Marriage Amendment keeps the door open for civil unions on a state-by-state basis. I still think they should be called marriages, but civil unions are a good compromise when the anti-gay marriage crowd isn't willing to budge. As I've said, it's not a federal issue.

With social issues and domestic issues doing better than folks want you to believe, what's left? Foreign and military policies, the bread and butter of the Presidency. This is where President Bush needs to show his hand. In the past three years, our military has gone after terrorists where they live and shown groups like Al-Qaeda that if they want to play soldier they're going to have to fight against real soldiers. So far, they haven't done too well against real soldiers in Afghanistan. They're keeping the pressure on us in Iraq, but Ba'athists and Islamofascists alike have been switching gears and attacking Iraqis. Why? They want to ensure that a Western government doesn't appear in Iraq. They don't want the promise of liberty to reach banks of the Tigris and Euphrates. President Bush is doing just that. He is spreading the word of Western Civilization to recalcitrant foes. When we are attacked, we will hunt you down and expose you to the rest of the world. If you still wish to fight, you will lose. This brusque manner is hated by the bureaucrats in Paris, but so what? We're willing to defend what we know to be right, and we'll do it with or without international sanction. And even more irritating to Parisian government apparatchiks and leftist news mouthpieces, we have the sanction and cooperation of other nations.

This is the gist of Mr. Giuliani's statement. Our main concern for this election should be national security. Of the two candidates, George W. Bush has the best record, and should be re-elected. This is a statement I can support.
SJ-R.COM - Party defense

Once again, leave it to a Springfielder to be the best source of summarizing the Republican US Senate primary. Bernard Schoenburg has the goods on the Republican primary candidates and has distilled the campaign platforms into a quick-reference style story. What can we infer from this summary report?

Let's look at the candidates quickly.

Borling: Ex-military, which is usually a main criterion I use for determining who I vote for. However, he's also pro-choice, which means that he's not getting my vote.

Hill: Who?

Kathuria: I was considering his Sikh heritage to be a factor in helping get him elected, but his campaign seems half-hearted. He's very conservative, and that could help to garner votes in the primary. However, he's done very little to spread the word on his campaign. Is it possible to infer how he would serve in the Senate by how he campaigns? Wait and see.

McKenna: A pro-jobs candidate, though that's a pretty safe position to take. He's gotten the endorsement of Ray LaHood, the 18th District's US Congressman. I've met Ray a few times, and my mother works for him. If Ray's giving him an endorsement, then he thinks that McKenna is the right guy for the job. Ray doesn't hand out endorsements for no reason. This will allow him to try for first place. Another thing that helps him is the issue with Jim Oberweis' ads. He called Oberweis on the fact that his dairy ads were running alongside his political ads, something that can be construed as trying to circumvent campaign rules. His stance on the assault-weapons ban tells me he needs to find out just what that ban really does (prevents "military-looking" weapons from being bought, a purely cosmetic standpoint).

Oberweis: His stores make good ice cream. He's also the head of a multigenerational dairy farm. I can support a farmer. He's also said that he would keep abortions restricted to rare instances where the mother's life is in danger. I'd rather he try to avoid that position, but I see the need for compromise. His campaign from 2002 hasn't seemed to stop, though, and I think he's bringing the psychic baggage from that campaign along. The immigration restrictions that he favors strike a chord with locals who see their jobs as being replaced by illegal immigrants. This could be a year when a protectionist campaign could work for the Republicans.

Rauschenberger: He's the only one with any government experience, and seems to be quite the party insider. Could this be a reason why he seems to be running a stealth campaign in the Cook County panhandle? His insiderness may come back to bite him in the butt if he keeps chasing after Bob Kjellander and calling for his resignation as the Republican National Committeeman for Illinois, though.

Ryan: He's campaigning like he wants to be the 800-pound gorilla of the primary, and I've seen his signs all over the northwest suburbs. His success in business and his time spent teaching at Hales Franciscan are definite bonuses. His drawbacks? Well, let's see... the issue with NATO is one of them. I wouldn't want an isolationist candidate, and his issue with removing support from NATO sounds like it's in that category. He'll need to modify that stance before I could support him. I do like his stance about private health insurance. It is easy to find it, and having your own insurance keeps it portable from job to job. Will he suffer from the Ryan Curse, though?

Wright: Who?

So, it's a mixed bag for Republicans this year. Rauschenberger, Ryan, and McKenna all seem like they could have the top spot easily, Oberweis comes in looking like he'll get another loss in the primary, and Borling and Kathuria are pretty much longshots. Again Hill and Wright have done nothing to run for the office other than apply, and that makes them nonentities. As for who I'm endorsing, I'd have to go with McKenna. I'd thought that Ryan or Kathuria would be it, but McKenna is turning out more and more to be the candidate I can identify with. I can endorse him with minor reservations for the Republican primary.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

SJ-R.COM - Pastime revisited

The Sangamon Valley Collection of the Lincoln Library just got a picture of an 1880s era local baseball team. This rarity is one of those things that makes local special collections so important. If I ever have kids, I'll never be able to take them to the turn-of-the-century designed police station where my dad started his job now that it's been torn down to make way for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. I won't be able to go to Watt Brothers Pharmacy on South Grand and Pasfield and buy them a hand-mixed cherry coke and a comic book if they're good. God willing, Maid-Rite will still be around so they can have a root beer in a frosted glass with their loose-meat hamburger. These pieces of history can easily be lost if there's no one to pick them and put them somewhere for safekeeping.

Springfield is one of those towns that is a special treat for those who have lived there since early childhood. Other folks will miss what it's like to grow up in the state capitol, to be exposed to those who try to make the state work, and the small patch of history we can call our own. Whoever said "You can't go home again" wasn't born and raised in Springfield.
Daily Herald - District to fight business tax appeals

So, now schools are going to go cry to a judge every time a company tries to lower its property tax rates? What surprises me is when Hohsin Dada, the District 54 Assistant Superintendent for Business Services, states that his school district and a neighboring school district are going to try to stop property tax reductions when they feel it's unjustified.

I don't see anywhere in the article where they're called upon to list what they consider an unjustified reduction in rates. What is their criteria for fighting reductions? Is there a set dollar amount? A set percentage amount? Or does the day just have to end in "y" for them to appeal a reduction?

The lead sentence pretty much sets the tone that the school districts want more money from property taxes, and aren't willing to let businesses off the hook for anything. I don't know whether to be concerned for property owners or to point and laugh at the petty tyranny of School District 54's administration. Just to be safe, I'll do both.
Tillman: Bank 'lying' when it denies past ties to slavery

Does Dorothy Tillman have nothing else to do but bring up unfounded allegations? She comes in and states that J.P. Morgan Chase, the bank that's merging with local uber-bank Bank One is lying about its past with slavery.

What is she looking for? Records that state that slaveholders may have had savings accounts there? If she thinks that is enough evidence of ties to slavery that should prevent J.P. Morgan Chase from merging with Bank One, she's sadly mistaken. What people should look at is preventing the merger due to possible monopolization of a market. Going about it this way only feeds conspiracies and breeds hatred.

At least Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke told Tillman to put up or shut up. Mind you, he said it in a much nicer way that I would have.

Friday, March 05, 2004

SJ-R.COM - Stations may change channels

Whoa!

This is a huge story for back home. WICS and WAND are apparently changing network affiliations. Those channels have been affiliated with NBC and ABC respectively since before I was born. I wonder how this is going to change the actual signal reception, though? NBC always seemed to come in clearest, ABC always seemed a bit muted, and the CBS affiliate was always a bit grainy. This is on the local cable system, mind you, not just via normal broadcast. You could easily tell which channel was which, even without the little logos in the corner.

I also wonder what this will do to local tv news coverage. Will the switch in affiliations change the way news direction is done? Will ABC want a new look to statehouse reporting now that they're the primary television station of the state capital? If that's done, it could bring a new perspective to what's going on at First and Capitol. Hopefully, they also bother Ol' Blaggie like state house reporters are supposed to do.

The affiliation change also means that WICS is going to lose Saturday Night Live, so may I suggest bringing back the televised weekly drawings from the IGA stores? Oh, right. That was fiendishly boring. Okay, readers! Or reader... whichever. Here's your assignment. Figure out what kind of local programming show should be shown on Saturday night at 10:30pm. There are only a few rules. 1. No blatant adult materials or sexual situations. Let's keep this mildly clean. 2. It must conform to local culture. High school sports, state and city politics, even farming issues are fair game, but let's try for something a bit different. 3. If possible, make the show entertainingly cheesy. Think along the lines of something that would make a great cult hit, like "Kung Fu Farm Bureau Report" or something.

Got it? Go! Brainstorm like your life depended on it! Once you're done brainstorming, write a one or two-paragraph pitch for me. The best suggestions will receive shiny new elephants* and their suggestions will be posted.


*No elephants will be given out. You'll still get posted on the blog, though. Consider it a break from anonymity.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HB4075

Nothing new on HB4075 so far. I want this to go to a vote on the House floor sooner rather than later. Tomorrow would be a good time.
Vote Wasserman!

Hey you!

Yes, you, the blog reader in the 58th District of the Illinois State Legislature! Here's the guy you need to elect in the upcoming Republican Primary. David Wasserman is a candidate for the Republican nomination, and he needs your help. Mr. Wasserman is a very likeable guy, as I had the chance to speak with him this evening at the Townhall.com Monthly Meet-up. The only thing that we disagreed on was gay marriage, and that's pretty good. Mr. Wasserman was able to give a list of reasons why he doesn't support civil unions, and base it on a set of rock-solid principles. Someone who isn't going to waver on that issue is not likely to waver on other stances such as the gun ownership and abortion. He's also a low-tax Republican, lowering taxes to prevent wasteful government spending.

I admit it, I'm in the minority among Republicans on gay marriage and civil unions, so I can't really use that as a make-or-break issue where the candidates are all on the same side of the issue. I will say this, though: Dave was willing to come out to the meeting to speak with local conservatives, and that says that he's at least willing to hear the issues voiced by his fellow citizens. He's on the same side of the issues that I am with only one exception, and I can give him my support.

Now, if only I had more information about my local State Representative, I'd be set.